AMERICAN Billy Horschel is a player who has caught my eye for a while now and the 26-year-old underlined his potential by claiming a maiden PGA Tour win at the Zurich Classic on Sunday.
Horschel, who finished on 20 under par to beat DA Points by one shot in New Orleans, is young, fit and swings really well. He has racked up four consecutive top 10 finishes and is yet to miss a cut this year. In short, he looks the real deal.
He’s also got a bit of an attitude on him, which I like. He is aggressive, competitive and expects so much of himself that he gets visibly annoyed when he plays a bad shot.
That’s a good sign. Some players can be complacent when things aren’t going well and it’s those who are most demanding of themselves who tend to make it to the top.
On the European Tour there was a fine win for Australian Brett Rumford, who did well to recover from a double bogey at 17 to claim the Ballantine’s Championship.
I felt for Scotland’s Peter Whiteford, though, who missed a five-foot putt at the last hole for his first tour title and ended up losing to Rumford in the three-way play-off in South Korea.
World No2 Rory McIlroy is back in action this week at the Wells Fargo Championship, where he will be joined by nine of the world’s top 25.
The absence of Tiger Woods is unimportant; what will be interesting is to see whether McIlroy continues his gradual improvement following a poor start to the year.
The Northern Irishman should relish returning to the scene of his 2010 victory and I’m expecting a good performance. Phil Mickelson may also be due a win, having had six top 10 finishes at Quail Hollow.
Finally, following 14-year-old Guan Tianlang’s brilliant Masters debut, this week promises further evidence that China boats some astonishing young talents. At the age of just 12, Ye Wocheng is set to become the youngest player in European Tour history at the Volvo China Open on Thursday. To have qualified on merit as he has is unbelievable, and it only strengthens my belief that Asia will soon come to dominate the men’s game the way it does the women’s.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. You can follow him on Twitter @torrancesam